Let’s give domestic abuse victims a happy and peaceful Christmas
Sue Arnold said the rate of domestic abuse in parts of her constituency had risen by almost 40% year-on-year.
“Whichever way you look at it, this is totally unacceptable and I want to stop people from turning a blind eye to this and to recognise it as a social problem that is blighting our borough – and it is also one that simply must stop,” said Mrs Arnold.
“In Darlaston and Bentley the number of cases of abuse has risen by 39.4% over the past year – from 137 to 191 cases – whilst in the Walsall South area it has risen by 27.4%, from 314 cases to 400.
“At this time of year mothers and young children should be looking forward to sharing quality time together, in a peaceful home environment, surrounded by friends and family.
“However, the stark reality is that many women in the borough will be facing a miserable Christmas, seeking refuge from their abusers – many tired and afraid with no one to turn to for help.
“I want to raise awareness of the situation in the hope that something can be done – but in the short term, I would like to see these victims be able to enjoy just a few of the comforts the majority of us take for granted at this time of year – a peaceful home environment, free of stress and fear.
“I was born and bred in Walsall and I know the people of this borough are kind and generous and would not wish to see anyone suffer like this – at any time of year, never mind Christmas. It is for this reason that I am making my Christmas Appeal the Walsall Women’s Refuge, an organisation – like so many these days – which does a lot of good work but desperately needs the help of the local community to keep going.”
Mrs Arnold has won the support of Tesco in her campaign and has been urging Christmas shoppers there to support the appeal.
“The good hearted people of Walsall have been very supportive – as I knew they would be. However, we are still short of donations of toys, nightwear and many other items.
“I know there are many demands on household budgets at this time of year but Christmas is, after all, the time when we think most about other people. Therefore, if people can support us I know it would give the refuge – and all the people who have to use it – such a boost,” added Mrs Arnold.
“I would also like to thank Tesco for all their help. In addition to letting me use the supermarket as a base for the appeal, staff have also offered to use their spare time working at the refuge to ensure it is properly maintained.
“If everyone was to adopt this approach then a lot more people will have a happy and peaceful Christmas.”